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NOW With Alex Wagner

News/Business. Alex Wagner. Forces driving the day's stories. New.

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America 7, Harold Ford 4, Karl Rove 4, Nra 4, Lance 4, U.s. 4, France 4, Washington 4, Lance Armstrong 4, Sam Stein 3, Medicare 3, Aflac 3, Selena 3, Algeria 3, Obama 2, Afghanistan 2, Oprah Winfrey 2, Geico 2, New York City 2, Cdc 1,
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  MSNBC    NOW With Alex Wagner    News/Business. Alex Wagner.  
   Forces driving the day's stories. New.  

    January 18, 2013
    9:00 - 10:00am PST  

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but i'm still stubbed up. [ male announcer ] truth is, nyquil doesn't unstuff your nose. what? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus liquid gels speeds relief to your worst cold symptoms plus has a decongestant for your stuffy nose. thanks. that's the cold truth! is it the year 2013, 1776, or 1865? it's friday, january 18th, and this is "now." >> joining me today msnbc contributor and the hovington post's white house
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correspondent, among many other titles. i feel like that's just one. maybe that's an old title. we're just scratching the surface. sam stein is here. nbc news presidential historian michael burbloss and nbc political analyst and visiting professor at nyu, former democratic congressman harold ford jr. >> good afternoon. >> good afternoon. >> buzz feed editor in chief, the always eternally buzzy ben smith. apparently there is an epic battle being waged over the u.s. constitution. just place a phone call to the nra's lobbying arm and you'll be greeted by this message. >> you're currently experiencing extremely high call volume due to the recent attacks on our second amendment rights. >> the president's proposed gun safety laws are in no way a gun grab or an infringement on the right to bare arms. regardless, the conservative right wing is insisting the president wants to get rid of the second amendment. >> let me be absolutely clear. like most americans, i believe the second amendment guarantees
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an individual right to bare arms. >> i actually think the president doesn't have the guts to admit it is not a believer in the second amendment, although he states that there is. >> there is a second amendment. the president and i support the second amendment. >> he is feeling right now high on his own power. i think it's really sad to see the president of the united states exploiting the murder of children and using it to push his own extreme anti-gun agenda. >> aside from the make-believer attack on the second amendment polls show america is ready for new gun legislation. a new nbc news wall street journal poll shows a majority of americans, 56%, want stricting regulation on gun sales. that's the highest number reported since 2006. while the fate of the president's proposed legislation is far from clear, the battle for change will be tremendous. frank rich writes in "new york magazine" resetting american policy on guns is nearly as fundamental change in our culture as the abolition of
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slavery. today's gun purists cling as tightly to the second amendment as slaveholders once did to their own constitutional rationales for the status quo. sam, some powerful words from frank rich, but as we've seen this week, the argument to impeach the president, the assertions that he is like hitler or stalin in temz of proposing broader gun safety laws. it's clear that is going to be a dramatic, dramatic fight between two sides. >> yeah. i mean, we all knew that, right? the hitler and stalin stuff is a little out there. >> would i say the impeachment stuff is also out there. >> no, it is. >> keep in mind i was doing some research on the 1994 assault on the stanford piece i just did, and the debate back then was so much different than it is now. back then the assault weapons ban seemed like sort of small pickings. you know, the big gets for the gun control community were to do federal registration of firearms, or to do week-long or month-long waiting periods, were to have a prohibition on how
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many arms, firearms you could purchase in the course of a month. make it one. what the president proposed this week doesn't do any of that. obviously it's the most controversial part of the assault bans, but everything else sort of falls under the rube richt of sensible reforms to gun purchasing. it's not taking away someone's right. it's preventing the ability to produce more assault weapons. you know, they've already toned down their efforts on the gun control side, but it's clearly not going to be reciprocated with moderation from the gun rights side. >> michael, as a presidential historian here, i mean, are you surprised given what sam said about the severity of this reform, if you will, the fact that these are not even executive orders, but executive actions. >> sure. >> and then you put it in the context as frank rich did with 1865, i think everybody here probably saw "lincoln" and the back and forth about slavery, which was a sea change in terms of american culture. >> sure was. >> are you surprised at the fight that is brewing and also the resistance? >> well, in a way the scab is being flicked off, and many
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presidents are reluctant to do that. although it's not been a very partisan issue in the last 50 years. richard nixon, most interesting of all, the year before he died in 1994 told william sapphire, his friend and former speechwriter, guns are an abomination. he said if it was up to him he would ban all handguns. it's not something he ever talked in public about while president. obviously reagan supported the brady bill. george h.w. bush resigned. >> resigned from the nra. >> 1995 after oklahoma city. yet, if you look at the history of the last 50 years in terms of presidents willing to confront this issue while in office, pretty rare. johnson did it in 1968. got a pretty watered down bill. >> harold, there's been a lot of washington analysis about how far any of this is going to go. i, for one, think that we are in -- newtown was an inflexion point, and i do think that the landscape has changed, and i
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don't know that it's as trite as if you believe in magic, but eugene robinson has an op ed, and i think we are well to listen -- we would do well to listen to eugene's words, which basically amount to don't listening to those that say that president obama's bold plan to reduce gun violence, including an assault weapons ban, has no chance in congress. i seem to recall that health care reform is deemed impossible too until it happened. >> i would agree with you. there is not only a change in how people view guns and particularly n.r.a. members. i was an nra member. i am no longer a member. i just declined membership after a while. newtown didn't do it. there's a culture in the country, as many know, who believe that guns are part of recreation and sport. they take their kids, much like we do in the northeast to football and lacrosse games and soccer games. they go out and hunt in the morning during hunting season. many people view this slippery slope as a bad thing, but newtown, you're right, was an inflexion point. i think the way the president has gone about this has been fair and reasonable and balanced, but to get these things passed, to michael's
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point, in the sense he is going to have to invest a tremendous amount of capital. if you saw "lincoln" you saw that president link invested tremendous capital in trying to abolish slavery. i would agree with frank rich and the slavery analogy. we could probably dig deeper -- not probably. could dig deeptory the historical analysis. this is the second amendment we're talking about. we had to fight our way to freedom. having said that, i know where frank was trying to go with that. the more we use those arguments, the less likely we are to persuade some reluctant democrats skeptical republicans. i think the issue here is -- sam's point was these are reasonable things we're trying to do. no one is trying to take people's guns or seize people's guns. this is an effort. the president continues to frame it in a way of how we keep our schools safe, places of worship safe, i think we have a much better chance at getting this done, and the over the top language on both sides, i don't think, contribute to us getting
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an end result that the president wants and frankly i want, and i think over two-thirds of the country if you do believe these polls as well. >> do you then then his language on wednesday when he invoked his declaration of i wanted penicillin -- >> i was speaking i think frank rich is a friend. i think the comparison between slavery and people holding on, i think you would be intpd. you would find a number of african-americans in the south who would cling to this idea as well. that gun rights are important. now, do people believe the gun rights in killing in newtown are equivalent? of course not. that's the moment, to your point, about inflexion. that's where the focus has to be in washington. i think the president, the most powerful imagery used were those children, the fact that people saw their own kids and their own nieces and nephews and grandchildren is the most compelling and powerful and instructive in the debate so far. >> as far as frank's point, though, i'm not sure he is making it into sort of a racial battle lines. >> oh, no, no, no. >> he thinks that the culture around guns is as entrenched as the culture around slavery, and i don't know that is he trying
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to draw a parallel between guns and slavery. go ahead. >> the big difference is, i mean, we amended the constitution to get rid of slavery. slavery was written into the constitution just like the second amendment. nobody is saying we're not going to amend the constitution to get rid of guns. there is a massive difference there. gun culture is as entrenched in 1994. i think it's much more so. particularly up here in the northeast where -- there was a great piece on this yesterday. 15 years ago liberals in new york city, for instance, would have found guns repulsive. there was a story in new york making sfwleen that coined some new term for fear of guns. the idea that would you go shooting or have guns was like culturally repulsive and considered, like, in itself kind of horrifying. there's been a big change on that. guns are kind of cool now. i mean, there's a -- >> can you draw two hours to new york city and go shooting. >> to frank rich's defense, the areas are obviously a cultural breakdown on guns. there are urban enclaves that experience gun violence differently than in idaho. >> no doubt about it.
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>> that's the difficulty in passing any form of legislation is that you are doing a national legislation for a problem that has different pockets of resistance. >> right. >> and so what's promising, optimism for the president, is that some of his reforms that he suggested are incredibly -- are incredibly testing well many polls. 92% for back ground checks. has neglect -- have you guys ever seen anything polling 92% ever? >> longer recess and soda in the water fountains. >> you didn't mention uniforms. >> the question comes do you do this piecemeal? do you take stuff that polls well and put it out for a vote ask get that stuff pass and do the harder stuff later, or do you do it comprehensively and hope you can get one big package passed on? >> i don't have anything against frank. >> frank rich, we don't have anything against you. >> if you want to get this done, and i do, and the president does, i'm just talking about how you do it without antagonizing. there are skeptical democrats, as you well know. you will find one-third of democrats who will have some
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issue with the idea of -- i can show you black members of congress, hispanic members of congress. >> you don't think that's just because -- >> it's cultural. >> it's something they firmly believe in. >> just the way we take kids up in the northeast and across the country to play lacrosse and football. there are people that go out with their kids that go shooting at 6:00, and we made think that's weird and strange. i don't. some may. if we want to get the bill passed, i'm not saying -- i'm -- >> he takes his kid to lacrosse every -- >> if you want for get it passed, there's no reason to use that language. an equally high number supports reducing these magazine clips. there's no reason in the world you should have a making sfwleen that large, and if you do, if you want to go shoot at a club, keep them at the gun club or the shooting club. people should not be able to take that home. when you begin throwing slavery and hitler in the conversation, it doesn't serve a purpose. >> there's been a false -- nobody -- you know, this idea that liberals are so obsessed with the first amendment that they won't look at reforms in
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the media industry and video gaming industry. there is not the same as there is -- >> look at the statement from the npa. the npa released this statement we support the president's goal of reducing gun violence in this country. it is a complex problem, and we have said that we stand ready to be part of the conversation and welcome further academic examination. >> imagine if the nra put out a statement zoosh imagine if the president was -- >> okay. >> academic study. >> which is a big deal for the nra. the nra is the one that has been resistant to the idea of studying anything that links gun violence to -- >> he also threw the nra a gift in this reform package. he put in money for schools -- for officers in schools. >> yes. >> he offered institutions $14 billion to put 15,000 cops on the street. it's not like he totally ignored the nra. >> the most surprising thing of this week was when the president said the other day i'm going to give everything i have to this. that's something a president rarely says.
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he is drawing a line in the sand, especially at the beginning of a second term, knowing that if he does not get it, it's going to show that he is weak on capitol hill, will hurt everything else. >> michael, you have brilliantly teed up our next segment. >> accidentally. >> after the break -- >> he will meet you afterwards. >> frank rich, anti-defamation society. >> president obama is just a few days away from embarking on his next four years, but his inauguration speech, while segment, ain't got nothing on his second term to do list. we will put the president's agenda and historical context to the lens of michael next on "now." at optionsxpress we're all about options trading.
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the time has passed when america will make every other nation's conflict our own or make every other nation's future our responsibility. >> for the first time in history government, the people said, was not our master. it is our servant. >> today we can declare government is not the problem. and government is not the solution. we, the american people, we are the solution. >> the best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world. >> this monday president obama will deliver his second inaugural address. he will be facing on fronts both domestic and foreign. already on deck, bolstering an economy that is slowly recovering, bridge aing deep
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divide over the nation's finance, winding down the war in afghanistan and negotiating a volatile situation in both the middle east and northern africa. in addition to the challenges set upon him, the president has made clear his own priorities. changes to the country's gun safety laws and an overhaul of america's broken immigration system. can he do did all? the man himself understands it will be a careful negotiation. >> i'm more than familiar with all the literature about presidential overreach in second terms. we are very cautious about that. on the other hand, i didn't get re-elected just to bask in re-election. >> michael, he does not sound like he is going to be basking in much of anything other than -- >> no sign of it. >> the torrent of hate mail and support from some corners. i wonder on the eve of this inauguration whether -- what do you think of the to do list that the president has, and to put it in some context for us.
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we know he has limited -- a fairly limited amount of time to get this done. is this a little ambitious? is the roster too much? >> probably not, but you have to remember what his experience was at the beginning of the first term zoosh right. >> most presidents can come in and people will say what are your priorities and here's my list. obama had so many things coming at him from every single direction that this is in a way almost like a first term. a person coming in for the first time, you know, giving us a little bit of an idea of what he would like to do. sure. his list is much too ambitious. he knows that. most second term presidents, as he mentioned in his press conference, overreach because they have six to 12 months to do what they want to do after they're re-elected ash of that they're to a great degree lame-duck wrshz. >> the other thing that bears mentioning in all this is usually there's a respite from campaigning, and really not supposed to be campaigning in the second 2er78. as weave learned, the president believes, and i think probably rightly so, that the only way he is going to get any legislation
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passed, because he has no partners on the right, is by having the american people push for change and move it to washington, and is keeping his campaign infrastructure basically many place. he is hitting the road next week to sell gun reform. >> he has had two very successful campaigns. however, if you look at the history where presidents have tried this, and they have, hard to find an example where using a campaign apparatus that served you well in two electrics is really going to do the same thing as getting something from congress. >> what do you make of the news today that the obama for america campaigning structure is going to be transferred over to a 501c3 nonprofit. they're going to try to keep those folks active. >> there's an irony to it because the campaign was waged along the liens of the outside groups that have too much influence on the process. now, the obama campaign's apparatus will disclose, but it will take a limited contribution. you have the whole question about the undue influence of
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contributors. it's a recognition by obama's people that the tactics in the first term were not as successful as they thought they would be. they played an inside game in large part, especially on health care reform, where they were cutting deals with a lot of lawmakers in nebraska, whatever it was, kickback stuff, and, you know, it got the job done, but it was a real struggle. i think they've concluded that they have to work around congress to affect congress. let me make one more point about the legacy, and i'll shut up after that. >> please don't shut up. >> there are two things that would be monumental achievements. one is immigration reform. >> so having said that, they're exhibiting plenty of suicidal behavior right now. >> we'll see. the second thing is he will, in all likelihood, draw down the war in afghanistan. we'll end that war. those two things -- they're not insignificant things. those will be legacies. i think he has some stuff ahead of him that he will be remembered for. >> i think, as michael points out, you look at what he has
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accomplished in his first term alone. he could do nothing, and i still think we are clouded by a lot of partisan rhetoric right now, but in four years from now, eight years from now president obama is going to go down as having an incredibly effective presidency in terms of legislation and moving the ball forward on a number of social issues. we haven't even talked about gay marriage, don't ask don't tell. >> oddly enough, he did what many presidents actually do in their second term. he did it in his first. so many presidents would have said, well, health care, that's going to be so difficult, i'm going to save it for year five after i'm safely re-elected. did he the contrarian thing. he got it done in the first two years, so, oddly enough, some of the old rules really don't apply. >> harold, in terms of the keeping o.f.a. active, although under a slightly different name, karl rove had nothing positive to say about that, unsurprisingly. let's play that. >> go figure. >> let's not pass over this ethics issue. for example, on the inaugural committee we now know the inaugural committee is collecting information about
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everybody who is attending the inaugural and says they will give it over to outside groups. well, is one of those groups obama for america? do we really want the inaugural committee information to be given to the president's political arm, to be used on behalf of his advocacy causes? there might be some ethics questions about things like that. >> karl rove drawing -- ethices and karl rove. >> can we talk about showing up to work when you are really sick. >> please don't do that, karl rove. >> you say bless his heart. the president -- i applaud what they're doing with this group. for one reason. i hope they do it in a way where they really rally behind specific issues. immigration reform ought to be one. gun control or assault gun control ought to be a part of our commonsense around guns ought to be a part. the president were focused on jobs and income inequality as a part of that conversation. the president in one of his last day interviews with david gregory on "meet the press" and he talked about jobs and he talked about energy and he talked about the massive
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realignment of energy production in the world. as you know, we sit on huge piles, and it's controversial. natural gas here in this country. the president talked about exporting and creating jobs and helping to even invigorate the manufacturing base in the middle of the country. there's a little tension there. i hope we do export natural gas, but as we can become i think a major powerhouse globally on that front. the jobs issue, income inequality, and you look at democrats and the coalitions we built across this country, a number of people who have fallen out of the middle class, that has to be a significant part. it can't focus squarely and solely on wall street and around wealthy americans. it has to focus on how you great jobs, how you grow, and the things that you need to do, and they've done -- he has had an education on that front and the health care front. we have to, i think, focus in a more specific way in how we steer people towards those sdwrobz and stay tuned that are good paying going forward. >> and jonathan martin have an article in politico today talking about the upcoming brewing fight inside the democratic party between
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democrats whose priority is the working poor, the working class unions, and sort of the high faluting democrats. the tent is so big you have an exodus of moderate republicans who are inside the democratic party, so, you know, post-obama where does the party go from there? >> well, first, i still want to go back to howard for a second. >> you basically do not want to -- okay. >> he has a great point. we are back to the go-go clinton days of soft money, of donors giving millions, however much money they want. will they be getting sleepovers? are their companies getting grants? that is a good story. >> we know that -- >> they say they're disclosing the money. this will be voluntary. i hope they disclose everything they get. we have no way of checking. the second, on the split end side of the party, i think there are people like sharon brown of ohio who see this as, like, you know, this election really validated a liberal democratic party's priorities and the idea that you would then go and hand republicans kind of unwon gains
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on entitlement cuts and cracking down on unions and things like that seem insane. >> they get a dress rehearsal in the fight over entitlements if, many of the, the president and the republicans haggle. >> yeah, and there's one in ponderable. this is an organization that did in many ways what people did not expect in 2008, 2012 getting him elected and re-elected using social media. in a way it's sort of a trial run to see if those things are really going to change politics. they might. >> if they don't get the debt ceiling and you get some sort of reasonable plan around controlling spending, this conversation here is irrelevant because i think -- >> this conversation may be irrelevant regardless. it's not irrelevant. >> any time now, alex wagner is in the conversation -- >> oh, you're invited back, harold ford. >> entitlement reform and without tax reform and without some spending plan that congress can accept and the country can accept, the poll also said that we're talking about obama before the show that the majority of
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americans believe what's hindering economic growth is the fact that washington continually finds itself at an impasse or a position around how to resolve what seem to be to me and i think a lot of americans commonsense balanced solutions that should be put forward. without that, all of this, i don't think, comes to fruition. >> let me say one thing before we go. michael, if, in fact, the ofa infrastructure does work, does that not then -- does that not mean now all future presidencies will have -- >> the eternal campaign. to some extent, you do already, but this will rachet up one notch. >> it's also -- the political parties have disintegrated in terms of power. the republican side, everything is -- >> understatements. >> i know. the tea party groups, the stuff, those are now the epicenters of the political power right now. it's not the rnc. what organize for action is going to do is take look the dnc's traditional power structure and remove it. >> if we are constant
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campaigning from now to eternity, stop this thing. i want off. you love it. >> it's great for business. >> only good thing about soft money when we had soft money, you were lamenting that, but we knew where the money was coming from, and we knew there were limits on what the money could be used for. i voted for mccain-fine gold in my freshman year of congress. i thought it was a great thing. as i look back, it may have been a mistake the way it was constructed. not that mccain and feingold. it produced some of the parts of the system that we find repug nant today. nbc news presidential historian michael besslass, thank you. the u.s. military on the hostage stabbedoff in algeria. we'll have the latest details coming up next. at 1:45, the aflac duck was brought in
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with multiple lacerations to the wing and a fractured beak.
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surgery was successful, but he will be in a cast until it is fully healed, possibly several months. so, if the duck isn't able to work, how will he pay for his living expenses? aflac. like his rent and car payments? aflac. what about gas and groceries? aflac. cell phone? aflac, but i doubt he'll be using his phone for quite a while cause like i said, he has a fractured beak. [ male announcer ] send the aflac duck a get-well card at getwellduck.com.
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>> president obama is receiving updates at a hostage situation at a bp plant in algeria. they launched a military operation to rescue the dozens of foreign national from more than ten countries that were kidnapped by a group affiliated with al qaeda. algerian state tv is reporting that nearly 650 hostages have escaped since the group took control of the plant on wednesday, including 132 foreign nationals. worth noting, nbc news has not confirmed this information. speaking in london this morning defense secretary leon panetta says the u.s. is "working around the clock to insure the safety of our citizens and he warns terrorists that they will find no sanctuary in algeria or north africa." after the break female troubles plagued the gop in the last election cycle. will lawmakers,er in a new era for women's issues? we'll talk health and politics when star jones joins the panel next on "now." find us?
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as part of next week's inauguration festivities, the service summit on d.c.'s national mall will give over 100 community service organizations a chance to advocate their causes and recruit volunteers on america's national day of service. one of the featured speakers is star jones, who will speak about her experience with heart disease and her goal of promoting a broader discussion about healthy living. among the most popular misconceptions is that heart disease, the leading cause of death in the united states, affects men more than it does women, but according to the cdc, 292,000 women died of heart disease in 2009, a staggering one in four female deaths. joining us now is today show legal contributor the star herself, star jones. it's great to see you. >> thank you very much. i'm glad to be here. i hate to correct my anchor first out of the box, but it's one in three women. one in 26 women will die from breast cancer.
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one in three women will die from heart disease. i never knew until it had actually impacted on me personally that heart disease was the number one killer of all americans, african-americans, and women. i'm three for three. >> why do you think that is that it's -- i mean, it's so radically under-discussed? do you think because it's -- you look at where heart disease -- the communities it affects most. some are poorer, rural. you are talking about minorities that are affected. i mean, we need to get this notion that one in three women, that is a staggering statistic, is going to die of heart disease. why is that not part of the broader national -- >> first i want to pray that we move that number so it is not one in three. really where the discussion needs to move to the front burner. we -- it's not a sexy disease to talk about. >> right. even though we all know somebody that's been failed by it. what we have to start doing is take it on as our own personal battle. i'm going to do this for my children.
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i'm going to do this for my husband, for my wife. i'm going to get healthy. it starts with eating right. it starts with breaking some of our bad habits. i'm an expert when it comes to breaking bad habits. >> so is sam stein. >> i'm just an expert at bad habits. >> after i lost 155 pounds total, i had to really change my lifestyle in order to maintain it. it's been almost ten years now since i had weight loss surgery, and i never knew that i was really impacting on my heart that way, and so i share that with my fellow citizens. i'm very honored that i have been asked to come in and speak at the national day of service, and i activated my -- to do service on that day. >> we need more women in the conversation about women's health, right, harold? this week -- >> why would you come to me on that? i agree with you. >> because you have been in congress. you have been in congress, and
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the rhetoric there, and it's largely driven by the men and also conservative men. i mean, this week phil gringly doubled down on todd akin's comments about legitimate rape. the republicans are now finally sending out memos saying rape is not a good word for us to be throwing out there in the national dialogue. let's stay away from it. you don't have authorization against the violence against women act. you look at what's happening on the state level in terms of texas, the defunding of planned parenthood, which is going to cost $151,000 low income women, basic health services. is there a lesson to be learned here? women should be more -- part of the conversation when it concerns health issues at large, but specifically women's health issues. >> if the republicans had been able to settle on the criminal definition of rape, which is probably where they should be. that's where an overwhelming majority of america is. until they stop talking so much about contraception and talking to much about personal issues
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that involve men and women, particularly women, they might have found themselves in a little different position in the make-up of the congress and the senate. they didn't. they continue to go down this path, which is frightening, for them and i they for the country in a lot of ways because i think the republican party, whatever the minority party is, you need them to be credible and viable many some ways for big things to get done. right now they suffer a great deal. i almost feel sorry in some ways for my old friend john boehner because he is trying to lead a group of people who i think refuse to be led, let alone know how to be led any general direction. they should have listened colin powell with gregory over the weekend who laid out very clearly. there's a skism in their party. there's a dysfunction. he doesn't recognize it, and i'm sure he is not alone. i hope they'll get some order for them. the president has a big jaentd. we talked a little bit about it. star is talking about an issue that needs a set of issues that need to be addressed, and you have to have a minority party in the congress and the senate that you can work with. a leader on the other side who can coral his troops. right now it's an uncoralable
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and encourageable group. politico is on the republican side. >> one of the only solutions -- i guess not the only solution, about the one of the main solutions is totally unacceptable to republicans, and has to spend money to save money. by that i mean funding preventive care so early on in life you can have the dietary structure that you need or get the check-ups required so that later on in life you don't have to go to the emergency room to deal with this stuff. that is sort of a big government liberal type of orientation towards the problem. you even see it in new york. bloomberg saying let's get rid of the big gulp sodas. that's not where we are in the conversation. no one wants to talk about how we can spend more money to save more money. >> it costs a whole heck of a lot less to get in ecocardiograms in low income communities than it costs for my open heart surgery. >> right. >> they cracked my chest open, and if i didn't have insurance, it would have bankrupted my
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family, and we are a family that has a little bit of resources. imagine a family that doesn't have resources. you are either going to spend it on the front end or you're going to spend it on the back end, and as it relates to the republican party, they need to take rape out of the conversation. i'm a former prosecutor. there's never a time that a politician should be trying to define rape. it is defined -- >> or diminish the severity of it in certain cases. >> leave it alone. it's defined in the criminal procedure law. that's what it is. it's enough already. >> it's hard to see how they can openly fix it by saying we just can't talk about it at all. i mean, i think you see some of the them -- you saw bobby jindahl do something interesting. nothing came out, and he said contraception ought to be easily available over-the-counter. that's his new policy pitch. i think they're going to have to find, particularly the guys running for president and mostly guys like actual positive issues, not just we can't talk about this stuff. >> and, you p, hopefully the current -- the 113th congress is
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going to be there are historic mof women, which is a great thing, in terms of actually getting women's voices in on this, but empowering advocates, giving them a bigger platform, and encouraging other women to speak. 350,000 women in your professional circle is the number of women that die of heart disease every year. >> absolutely. >> that's a testament to something. >> and a person running the national day of service is a young woman named chelsea clinton. >> men aren't all that bad. >> you are, but most men -- >> that's fine. >> i'm just kidding, sam. >> i really want to encourage the viewers, though, to go out and get involved in the national day of service. >> definitely. >> the president and the vice president and their families really make this a priority as a part of the inaugural weekend, and it's really to remind us all that with a community we build it, and we are building it on saturday. >> it's an important reminder. the notion of sacrifice for the community is an important one. often and too many times lost. >> it's the price we pay for
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living. >> it is, indeed. we have to let our dear friend buzz feed ben smith go. thank you, my friend, for joining us on this friday. >> thank you. >> coming up, lance armstrong comes clean about not being clean, but what else did we learn about lance and his oprah sitdown? we'll unpack the big interview and other sports lies and misdemeanors just ahead. so if you have a flat tire, dead battery, need a tow or lock your keys in the car, geico's emergency roadside assistance is there 24/7. oh dear, i got a flat tire. hmmm. uh... yeah, can you find a take where it's a bit more dramatic on that last line, yeah? yeah i got it right here. someone help me!!! i have a flat tire!!! well it's good... good for me. what do you think? geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.
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>> cheating institutional failure and fake girlfriends. we'll talk lance, te'o, and the collapse of the public's trust missed and outside the arena when salena roberts joins us next. [ male announcer ] ahh... retirement. sit back, relax, pull out the paper and...what!!?? an article that says a typical family pays $155,000
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>> after living a lie for over a decade, last night lance armstrong finally told the truth. >> this story was so perfect for so long. >> uh-huh. >> and i mean that, as i try to take myself out of the situation, and i look at it. you overcome the disease, win the tour de france seven times, you have a happy marriage, you have children. i mean, it's just this mythic perfect story. >> yes. >> it wasn't true. >> the disgraced seven time tour de france winner now stripped of all cycling trophies and honors admitted to using epo, blood doping, blood transfusions, testosterone, and human growth hormones to cheat his way to the top of his sport. of course, the crimes went beyond a breach of public trust. according to the u.s. anti-doping agency armstrong's goal led him to depend on epo, testosterone, blood transfusions and also more ruthlessly, to expect his teammates to require.
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oprah went directly at the issue zoosh were you a bully? >> yeah, yeah, he was a bully. >> joining us now, the ceo of mobile sports network selena roberts. selena, i kind of got nothing from that interview. what did you make of it? >> you know, i think it was the opportunity for him to control the narrative to the public and to get himself back into the public graces, and he failed on every level. i mean, he literally meted performance enhancers last night because that was a terrible performance in every single way. usually when you give an apology, you are trying to at least help validate all those you have hurt, those you have caused pain to, and every single stop along the way it was a tone of my bad, my mistake, mistakes were made. >> mistakes were made. kind of a passive sort of mistakes were made. >> that's right. >> even that piece of sound that we played, you know, it was mythic. it was magical. it was a perfect story.
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it was perfect because he was doping. i mean, the notion that this sort of magical story happened outside of an incredibly sullied series of decisions. >> i'm not sure what the point was last night. i'm not sure what he was trying to do, if he was trying to get the public back on his side. that didn't work. if he was trying to get back in the good graces of the athletic community, that didn't work. if he was trying to re-establish himself as an honorable man that can you depend on, that clearly didn't work. if you don't have a goal in mind for sitting down with oprah winfrey, then you, one, are an idiot, and two -- >> maybe he was trying to alleviate like a huge burden of guilt that was on his shoulders, but also bigger news here, star told me off set that she's training for the tour de france, and she's going to be clean about it. >> selena, what is the goal? i mean, you have a long history with lance. he has taken action against you for some of your reporting. where -- what is the next chapter? >> i think what he wanted to do
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was try this out, kick the tires on the apology, see if it made any sort of headway for him. i think more importantly, and you would know this too, star, is that legally he was trying to do a lot of maneuvering. he was trying to say enough but not enough that would get him in trouble with the criminal parts, and with the civil parts. i think he crossed the line on several different occasions when he talked about, you know, what he move and when he knew it. he never did explain to him, to anybody, where he got this stuff, who was behind this conspiracy. if he wasn't the ringleader? who was. he opened himself up for a lot of civil litigation coming forward and perhaps criminal litigation. >> i have to tell you, if i got a chance to do that same interview, i would have wanted to have a notary public swear him in because then his statements would have been under oath and for the record because he legitimately waited until the statute of limitations had run on the criminal matter for perjury, so now we have to sit
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down and see is he actually going to testify and confess to this? if he doesn't, you can tell your mother, can you tell your father, can you tell your priest, but until you do it under oath, you don't really place yourself in jeopardy. >> let me just draw -- harold ford jr., we are talking about lance armstrong, former american hero, needing a notary public for an interview with oprah winfrey, and we talk about how far our heroes have fallen, and this is in the wake of whether it's joe paterno, whether it's -- whether there are little hoaxes like notre dame and te'o, the idea of institutional failure is pretty profound. i think there are people that feel heartbroken. not for lance armstrong, but because of what he represents. >> there's no doubt. he was athlete of the year, male athlete of the year so many times. i think i was disappointed for something you said off air, star, that there were a number of people, including perhaps maybe even some on this set, who lance really went after pretty aggressively, and i just wished
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he had been more fusive in offering apologies and trying to reinstate and validate those who he besmirched along the way. it's a sad story, and i hope that whatever the goal was, i hope he believes he achieved it, but i agree with you. i don't know what the goal was last night. >> we're -- it's not just cycling. there was not a single member largely because of the steroid scandals that happened in that sport. football has a huge concussion problem that's about to blow up into something much larger and also legal. issues will come up from that. now cycling. we have notre dame football. i mean, every institution in sport almost, it feels like, is suffering a crisis, and an image crisis on top of that, and so, yes -- >> consistent with that. how rampant -- part of what lance said also, this drug stuff is so big in sports, period. how pervasive -- you raise a point about these institutional questions. how pervasive do you think performance enhancing drugs are
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across the platform of major sports in this country? >> i don't think there is a sport right now at an elite level that does not have a doping problem. >> that is -- that is profound and profoundly disappointing. i got to ask you before we go, selena, experts sports journalist that you are, who wins a tour de france first? sam or star? >> money is on star. >> money is on star. >> she's a smart lady. >> because i'm going to pay sam to ride for me. >> we have to leave it there. >> i'll take it. >> you are a raucus panel. political editor and white house correspondent sam stein, star jones, selena roberts, and harold ford jr. that's all for now. be sure to camp all of our inaugural coverage here on msnbc this monday. until thn you can find us at facebook.com/now with alex. andrea mitchell reports is next.
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